“We cannot wait for a calling card from a terrorist to announce a pending or future attack. Our suspicion may turn out to be nothing, but if it is something significant, we cannot afford to lose that critical response time.”
Robert Mueller – FBI Director
The whole world reeled from the news that Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the U.S. Army doctor, was named as a suspect in the shooting death of 13 people and the wounding of 31 others at Fort Hood, Texas. It later emerged he had tried to make contact with al-Qaeda before carrying out the massacre.
Intelligence officers are said to have known months ago about Hasan’s attempts to reach the terror network through the internet but decided to monitor him, hoping it would lead them to al-Qaeda operatives. It was thought Hasan might lead them to a “big fish” and there was no indication he was about to launch his own attack.
Communications, believed to be emails, were intercepted by US intelligence services. They were examined at the time but it was decided that they did not require following up.
But there were red flags for some time before. His associates at Walter Reed Hospital, his last assignment, had serious suspicions about his being an Islamic extremist.
THEY DID NOT REPORT THEIR SUSPICIONS.
A few days later, I was watching a newscast about the horrible shooting tragedy. They were interviewing an FBI agent.
The agent was discussing how people are afraid to come forward if they run into something that seems unusual to them. They don’t want to get involved – even frightened that they would be accusing an innocent person needlessly. So, they do nothing and that nothing could cost lives.
He added that they needed the millions of eyes and ears of ordinary people to do their job.
THAT IS YOU.
THAT IS ME.
A friend overheard two people talking in the men’s room of his office. They were discussing if they could do research at the library on how to build a dirty bomb to avoid having to use their personal computers.
HE CALLED THE FBI.
The agent spent a lot of time asking him about himself. Surprisingly, he wanted to know everything about him. A whole history. Very politely, but he was being vetted. They wanted to make sure he was who he said he was.
Only then, he was asked for his story. The agent made very little comment about it. My friend asked if it could be traced back to him as a source and they assured him it would not. He wanted to know how they would follow up and he got no information.
The agent just said, “We have our ways.”
He also wanted to know if he would ever know what happened and they said no. He would not be hearing back from them unless they needed him to follow up which was unlikely.
The only question they answered was when he asked if he was over reacting. Was he right to call?
That answer was a definite YES. We need people to report anything that seems suspicious. And we do not reveal our sources.
So, I am asking you –
WOULD YOU HAVE CALLED?